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Housing tenure data
in the Census

The 2011 Census collected information from each household about the nature of their tenure in the dwelling they occupied on Census Night.

The information on housing tenure in the Census provides a snapshot of the nature of the occupancy of the dwelling stock in Australia on Census Night. It does not represent a comprehensive picture of home ownership and other tenure arrangements in Australia for a number of reasons, nor does it represent the extent of residential property ownership in Australia. Households may be away from their usual residence on Census Night and may occupy the dwelling they are in under a different tenure – for example, a family that owns their own home but is away on holiday in a caravan park. A household may rent one dwelling and own another – for example, owning an investment property or temporarily renting accommodation away from the family home. Others may have moved – for employment or other reasons – from the dwelling they own, and may be renting in their new location for the medium to long term. Interstate migration in recent years will have contributed to the impact of employment-based changes in tenure, while not necessarily changing the proportion of households that own a dwelling.

Households were asked to respond for the dwelling which they occupied on Census Night according to the following categories:

Question 56 as it appeared on the 2011 Census Household Form

A text only version of this question is also available.

For those households that did not own the dwelling they were in on Census Night, the following additional information was gathered about who their rental or other similar tenure arrangement was with:

Question 57 as it appeared on the 2011 Census Household Form

A text only version of this question is also available.

The following data shows changes to some of the key tenure groups between the 2011 and 2006 Census. It should be noted that growth has occurred across all tenure types in Australia and changes in the proportional share of each tenure type across all dwellings result from relative differences in this growth.

Tenure of occupied private dwellings, Australia
  2011 Census 2006 Census
  Number Percentage Number Percentage
Owned outright 2,488,148 32.1 2,430,731 34.0
Owned with a mortgage 2,709,431 34.9 2,436,112 34.1
Owned: total 5,197,579 67.0 4,866,843 68.1
Rented 2,297,460 29.6 2,010,456 28.1
Other tenure type 70,071 0.9 60,079 0.8
Tenure type not stated 195,212 2.5 206,718 2.9
Occupied private dwellings (a) 7,760,322 100.0 7,144,096 100.0

  1. Excludes Visitor only dwellings, Other not classifiable dwellings and Non-private dwellings

Estimates of the ownership of residential property from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) show both those households that own the dwelling in which they currently reside and the ownership of other dwellings. The 2009-10 SIH results show that 68.8% of all households in 'not very remote' Australia own (with or without a mortgage) the dwelling in which they currently reside (down from 70.2% in 2003-04). However, when those who are in tenures other than owner-occupation but own residential property are added, the proportion of all households that own residential property rises to 72.8% (no significant change compared to 2003–04).

See also: Data quality statements on Tenure Type and Tenure and Landlord Type.

Fact sheets

  • Housing tenure data in the Census


Enumeration procedures

2006 fact sheets